Dozens of hippos at risk in dried-up water hole in Namibia

A pack of hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) rests near the water in the Erindi reserve in Namibia

WINDHOEK, (Reuters) – Dozens of hippopotamuses are stuck in a shrinking pool of mud and water in a game reserve in Namibia and are at risk of dying of hunger and thirst, the Daily News online publication reported on Saturday.

The pool, in the Wuparo Conservancy about 900 km (600 miles)northeast of the capital Windhoek, was fed from a nearby river but a prolonged drought has dried up the source, the News said, quoting the manager of the nearby Livingstone wildlife camp.

Several hippopotamuses have been stuck for months in the pool. More than 40 are believed to be there now, the manager said.

The camp has been helping the conservancy to pump water into the pool to keep the beasts alive.

“This has worked so far but we desperately need financial assistance to cover the cost of petrol or solar installation, for the pump,” he said.

One hippo calf has already died, the manager said.

He did not respond to calls or text messages from Reuters.

Namibia is known globally for its animal conservation efforts, with almost 40% of its land under conservation management.

“We have been alerted of the situation of the hippos. We were not aware that the hippos were in a critical state,” Romeo Muyanda, a spokesman for the environment, forestry and tourism ministry, said.

“Now that we know, we have dispatched our team to go and investigate and see what would be the best solution,” he said.